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Thursday February 5, 2009 - 16:30:10 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Today 11:22am

US Market Update

Dow +11 S&P +3.5 NASDAQ +13.5

- Equity markets opened under some pressure as the usual culprits fed an increasingly risk averse environment. Weekly jobless claims spiked above 600K to the highest level in more than a quarter of a century. The relentless selling in the large cap US banks continues sending BofA down another 15% below $4 briefly to levels not seen since the mid 1980s. Wells Fargo traded off more than 10% as well. Early stock losses for the second straight session resulted in Treasury market bids. The 10-year note has traded up roughly half a point for much of the morning sending the yield back below 2.90%. March crude traded below $40 once again early in the session before recouping most of its losses with a rebound in equity markets. Equity markets in both the US and Europe snapped back sharply in late NY morning trade as speculation picked up that the US government was considering suspending mark to market rules when they unveil their latest measures. It should be noted that multiple politicians on both sides of the isle have made statements in the past indicating they were not in favor of altering the current mark to market landscape.

- Jan same store sales results were as expected dismal, but most of the stocks are experiencing a relief rally as the results were not worse than anticipated. WMT +4% TGT +3% ANF +9% AEO +4%

- Shares of Dell are lower after a pre-market downgrade at JP Morgan. JPM also slashed their outlook for PC shipments for the current year weighing on shares of IBM and HPQ.

- Credit card behemoths MA and V are charged up after their earnings results suggested they are weathering the economic storm thus far. MA noted that the gross dollar volume was up better than 3% y/y in the latest quarter

- The European interest rate decisions came in as expected with the BOE cutting by 50bps to 1.00% while the ECB paused at the 2.0% level also expected.

- At the ECB press conference; Trichet initial comments were perceived as 'dovish' as he stated that the market turmoil has intensified and reduced economy activity. The EUR/USD languished below the 1.28 area for most of the NY morning as Trichet backpedaled on potential rate moves at the March ECB policy meeting. Trichet commented that the market expectations of 50bps cut could be accurate in March and that the current 2% level did not mark the floor in the easing cycle. He did reiterate the drawbacks of zero interest rates and complemented the point that the risk that one could be overly pessimistic regarding economic recovery. Protectionism was also cited as a very important threat. EUR/GBP cross was trading at 0.8730 as GBP also benefited from the HBOS housing Index uptick from earlier in the session.

- Some risk aversion sentiment remained in the NY morning session (particularly in financial sector). The IMF's Strauss Kahn noted that he saw the possibility for a global recovery in 2010, but cautioned that such a scenario was not certain. IMF cited that lending not improved at the desired speed and that the implementations of stimulus packages have been 'too much delayed.' The JPY is softer from its opening levels against the major pairs and the selling was only exacerbated by the late morning rebound in stocks.

- The Russian Ruble tested its recently imposed ceiling of 41 against the basket but it did not encounter any significant break of the level. The Russian Central previously commented that it would use all tools available to maintain the ceiling including raising interest rates and currency intervention.

- The Mexican Peso was 1% firmer as unconfirmed reports circulated that its Central bank was again undertaken currency intervention to support MXN.

- The German yield curve maintained its steepening shape with the spread between the 2-year and 10-year at 194bps, the widest level since late 1997.


Americas Macro sector headlines

o                                                        Today 10:59am

Hearing equity market strength being attributed to rumors of possible easing or suspension of mark to market accounting rules

o                                                        Today 10:30am

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o                                                        Today 10:30am


o                                                        Today 10:18am

Preview: EIA natural gas inventories due at 10:30amET**consensus estimate range: -195 bcf to -200 bcf

o                                                        Today 10:12am

White House official: President Obama to require new energy efficiency standards among variety of appliances

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